Creating and Managing Economic Competitiveness in Saudi Arabia

Topics: Investment, Foreign direct investment, Macroeconomics Pages: 8 (2986 words) Published: March 14, 2013
David Tirri
January 26, 2013
Florida International University
International Business Law
Creating and Managing Economic Competitiveness
Case Questions

How Al Dabbagh View SAGIA's Mandate Differently from His Predecessor

When Al Dabbagh became the governor of SAGIA due to his successful career in national and international businesses at the age of thirty eight years, he viewed his mandate differently from his predecessors. During this time, he was designated as one of the hundred global leaders in the world economic forum. He took the term global very seriously during his career as SAGIA’s governor. His main belief was that globalization of the world economy needed Saudi Arabia to generate business climate that would encourage foreign investors to venture into the country. In his opinion, the prerequisite of this would be achieved through the introduction of the national and international standards that enhance competition to enterprises in Saudi Arabia. Just like his predecessor, the fuzzy mandate and inefficient financial and human resources handicapped Al Dabbagh. He also faced a problem of the strained relationships with other government agencies around the world that had developed four years ahead of Saudi Arabia. To solve these issues, Al Dabbagh engaged new strategies of enhancing private-public partnerships. This strategy would help the SAGIA agency in carrying out its mission, ambitions, and lobbying campaign of repairing relations with other key government ministries. According to Al Dabbagh, this would help in improving the business climate in Saudi Arabia (Harvard Kennedy School, 2008). To accomplish SAGIA’s mandate, Al Dabbagh spent more than three months of his time in office working on the mission, vision, and strategy. Together with his chief aides and consultants, Al Dabbagh embarked on an intensive research of trying to understand and address the toughest issues related to the business environment in Saudi Arabia. In this process, they conducted over 100 interviews with very senior government administrators and international business leaders. They also held over 15 workshops across Saudi Arabia. At the end of this enquiry, Al Dabbagh and his consultants compiled about 100 possible initiatives and roles for the SAGIA agency. Out of this, they applied five-pronged test of attracting investors in the country. He gave priorities to projects that would generate the highest economic impacts and that are cost effective. How Al Dabbagh Expects To Leverage and Rearrange His Available Assets to Create Public Value The SAGIA agency allowed the transfer of staff to other government ministries, but Al Dabbagh found it difficult to replace them with vast qualified employees. To attract better talent to SAGIA agency, Al Dabbagh decided to effectively double the budget for the human resources. It was not likely that the finance ministry would approve the added funds, but would approve the increased budget on the condition that SAGIA would offer high packages to the public and government sectors. Together with human resource director, Al Dabbagh reviewed the existing staff members and concluded that only a fraction of these members were suited in enhancing the achievement of SAGIA’s mission. Most of them were below executive level, and the best strategy was to upgrade them. Al Dabbagh decided to send some of the employees to training programs in order to improve their skills. He also turned on private sectors for help. This was by enhancing private-public partnership. Through this initiative, Al Dabbagh ensured that private firms in Saudi Arabia would exchange their expertise and human resources with SAGIA agency. This would also help in funding the hiring of the highly skilled staffs. Under Al Dabbagh governance, SAGIA would represent their interests and concerns in various relevant government ministries in Saudi Arabia. Local businesses would also be assisted by the agency by...

References: Al-Yahya, K. O. (n.d.). Managing National Competitiveness & Institutionalizing Reform through Collaborative Networks: The Case of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA). Retrieved January 15, 2013, from
Detwile, E. (2009, January). Dr. Ali Al-Dabbagh’s Iraq-based Formula for Regional Cooperation. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from
Harvard Kennedy School, (2008), Creating and Managing Economic Competitiveness: The Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority. Case Number 1926.0, 1-17.
Miller, J. A., & Osinski, D. M. (2002, July). Training Needs Assessment. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from
Mitchell, J. (2011, February 02). The role of the private sector in development. Retrieved January 15, 2013, from
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